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Local businesses and county employees come together for foster families

Posted on 12/22/2017
Local businesses and county employees come together for foster familiesWeld County children in foster care can look forward to a brighter Christmas this year, thanks to generous donations by county employees and local businesses.

The Weld County Department of Human Services (DHS) hosted its annual Christmas parties for kinship and foster care families on December 12th and 13th, respectively, at Generations Church of Greeley. In total, 394 individuals attended both parties. As surprise door prizes for the families, county employees volunteered to fill 50 four-foot Christmas stockings with themed family-centered gifts, such as Movie Night and Family Road Trip items. Employees and other volunteers donated their time in addition to gifts, spending three days setting up and taking down the festive decorations. Local businesses donated thousands of dollars’ worth of food and gifts as well, contributing to a truly remarkable and memorable evening for local families.

Gyrath party for foster families.Also, last month, Joanna and Ben Gyrath hosted their annual Fall Fest for Foster Children, where 34 gifts were collected from their friends and neighbors for children in Weld County foster care. “It warmed my heart to see how many people helped with this project as they learned about caring for and helping others in need,” said Joanna, who began volunteering with the DHS foster care program in 2014.

“We are so grateful for the selfless contributions of our employees, local businesses and individuals like the Gyrath’s,” said Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer, Coordinator for DHS. “With the love and support of people like them, Christmas—and the future—is looking brighter for our children in foster care.”

Because of the current shortage of available foster homes, the county launched a foster family recruitment campaign in August. To date, 160 families have asked for more information about becoming a foster family, and 31 have begun the process, with two certified so far. But more are still needed to meet the goal of every Weld County child having a safe, stable and supportive family to love and protect them.

If you cannot become a foster parent, there are many other ways you can help, such as becoming a certified respite provider, volunteering to become a Court-Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), or simply thanking and encouraging foster families in your community.